BHP Billiton is seriously considering offering an additional London listing for its new mining spin off, in a potential victory for UK shareholders who had pushed for such a move since demerger proposals a month ago.
BHP had initially announced listings only on Australian and South African exchanges for the new company, but is now looking at London as well after strong investor demand.
“Since the announcement, we have been able to engage extensively with investors and other stakeholders,” said BHP chairman Jac Nasser in a letter to shareholders. He added: “Based on this, we are now assessing a potential standard listing in London for the new company.”
The lack of a London listing had caused dissatisfaction among BHP shareholders in the UK, some of whom were unable to hold stocks not listed in Britain and would have had to sell shares in the new company as a result.
The new mining spin-off will likely not receive an index listing, however, so will not be part of the FTSE index.
BHP’s demerger proposals will see it spin off a range of its aluminium, coal, manganese, nickel and silver assets into the new company, which could be worth around $15bn (£9.2bn).
The demerger will leave BHP with 19 core assets in iron ore, copper, coal, petroleum and potash, which together comprised 96 per cent of BHP’s underlying earnings in 2014.
BHP had also disappointed some investors by the lack of a share buyback as part of the demerger plans.